Cartoons in the 90s could now gain critical acclaim and acceptance by many adults. This version of Spider-Man has deep continuity, some stunt casting, and computer-generated backgrounds for some city scenes. Dr. Connors is an important secondary character as Peter Parker’s professor and friend in science.
Here are the documented appearances of Connor’s alter-ego, the Lizard. He’s played by Joseph Campanella.
“Night of the Lizard” – 1994
Pilot episode of the series. Who wouldn’t spend an intimate evening with the wife growling about the latest plan to heal New Yorkers into reptile? Dr. Curt Connors, a plotter of neogenic nightmares, that’s who.
Peter Parker gets the scoop of exclusive pictures of the Lizard to pay the bills. Parker angers his rival Brock, who would lead his own Rock Pokemon.
That last part isn’t part of Spider-Man: the Animated Series but Spidey versus rock-monsters would be impressive to see.
“The Lizard King” – 1997
The Lizard isn’t the primary villain in this episode. That honor belongs to his “children,” the Grown-up Neogenic Fisticuffs Reptiles. Gila, Gecko, and Monitor are convinced they are Connor’s kids and not an accident. They’re part a whole race of human-lizard hybrids.
This episode is also a good time to play “Spot That Trope.” The callbacks to movies like Planet of the Apes are too obvious for adults movie-watchers. Kids will likely giggle at seeing a girl lizard try to emote.
In the end, the lizards are felled by three ladies, Deb Whitman, Mary Jane, and Mrs. Connors. They boldly enter the sewer where Spider-Man and the Lizard are in gladiator combat then activate a neutralizing bomb-like device turning the lizards “normal.”
“Secret Wars” – 1997
Three episodes of Marvel Animation’s version of Secret Wars. Big-time crossover uniting the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and Storm, each of which were in other 1990s Marvel cartoons. Also, there’s Captain America and the Black Cat together in their hatred of the Red Skull and love of Super-Serum.
The Lizard is the main villain in part 1 who attacks Spidey’s all-universe hero team. He’s defeated like the jabroni that he is. Reed Richards then revived the human side of Dr. Connor’s brain enabling the Lizard to become Spidey’s ally for the rest of the Secret Wars.
Part 2 is where the heroes rear-flank Red Skull’s fortress. By part 3 Connors is forgotten during the struggle between our heroes and Dr. Doom, who finagled a device allowing the Thing to switch back as Ben Grimm.
Also featuring appearances by Morbius and Blade, these “Secret Wars” were Marvel Animation’s biggest attempt at a true Animated Universe. They weren’t a masterpiece because there may have been too many plot threads for a Saturday morning superhero cartoon.
“Secret Wars: Chapter 1”
“Secret Wars, Chapter 2”